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 Post subject: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:05 pm 
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This is a topic that I have wanted to post about for a long time now, and with the combination of the two clubs playing this weekend and Bob Smizik's column in the p-g today, I can hold my silence no longer. As I usually attend 15-20 Rays games per season, I have had the firsthand opportunity to watch the Rays rise from the ashes to a legitimate contender. I remember posting a few times over the past few seasons that the Rays would contend before the Bucs would and now my prophecy has come true. Recently, I have been thinking back to 2005 when both teams were going nowhere and had no real prospects for improvement. After that season, the Rays fired their GM, brought in a rookie manager and continued building up their farm system. Additionally, in order to build goodwill amongst the fanbase, parking at the Trop was free. I have watched the Rays make improvements in both small steps (a few minor free agents) and giant leaps (the drafting of Longoria and Price). Furthermore, the Rays have inked many of their young players to long-term deals and will be negotiating with many of the other youngsters. The Rays have become, IMO, the most exciting team in baseball. The Rays have done it all while playing in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees and while playing at the Trop, which on its best days, can be considered a dump. There are plans for a new ballpark down here, but a lot has to happen in order for it to become a reality. As for the Pirates, nothing has changed. They still stink. The farm system is barren. The team alienates its few remaining fans by raising prices and such. They are boring to watch and have few exciting young players. The secret to the Rays success is not that complicated, and considering that they are successful while playing a plethora of games against the Yankees and Red Sox and playing in a charmless, yet air conditioned, dump, they have overcome a lot more adversity than our Buccos. While I am still a Buccos-first fan, I often find myself checking the Rays score before the Pirates these days. Sorry for the rant. It just frustrates me these days to be a Bucs fan while it excites me each day to be a Rays fan.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08181/893475-194.stm

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:25 pm 
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I agree, Prince. Since my aunt in Largo passed on, I don't get over St. Petersburg to see Rays' games anymore. But over the years, I've sat in on several (usually with only a few thousand other people) and have to agree with what you wrote. Yes, the Trop is a dump. But the team has become exciting. My favorite in the AL, if only because they tend to give the Red Sox and Yankees fits.

It hurts to think that they could be this year's Tigers or Rockies, while the Pirates are on a treadmill going nowhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:16 pm 
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Prince of Pittsburgh wrote:
This is a topic that I have wanted to post about for a long time now, and with the combination of the two clubs playing this weekend and Bob Smizik's column in the p-g today, I can hold my silence no longer. As I usually attend 15-20 Rays games per season, I have had the firsthand opportunity to watch the Rays rise from the ashes to a legitimate contender. I remember posting a few times over the past few seasons that the Rays would contend before the Bucs would and now my prophecy has come true. Recently, I have been thinking back to 2005 when both teams were going nowhere and had no real prospects for improvement. After that season, the Rays fired their GM, brought in a rookie manager and continued building up their farm system. Additionally, in order to build goodwill amongst the fanbase, parking at the Trop was free. I have watched the Rays make improvements in both small steps (a few minor free agents) and giant leaps (the drafting of Longoria and Price). Furthermore, the Rays have inked many of their young players to long-term deals and will be negotiating with many of the other youngsters. The Rays have become, IMO, the most exciting team in baseball. The Rays have done it all while playing in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees and while playing at the Trop, which on its best days, can be considered a dump. There are plans for a new ballpark down here, but a lot has to happen in order for it to become a reality. As for the Pirates, nothing has changed. They still stink. The farm system is barren. The team alienates its few remaining fans by raising prices and such. They are boring to watch and have few exciting young players. The secret to the Rays success is not that complicated, and considering that they are successful while playing a plethora of games against the Yankees and Red Sox and playing in a charmless, yet air conditioned, dump, they have overcome a lot more adversity than our Buccos. While I am still a Buccos-first fan, I often find myself checking the Rays score before the Pirates these days. Sorry for the rant. It just frustrates me these days to be a Bucs fan while it excites me each day to be a Rays fan.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08181/893475-194.stm

The only problem I had with Smizik's article is how he made it sound like the Rays turned themselves around overnight. Their record might have turned around overnight, but it was because a lot of good scouting and development over the last 5-10 years. I know that nobody wants to hear this, but that's how long it takes unless you are extremely lucky in the draft.

I can't agree with you that the Pirates are boring to watch, at least not when they're at the plate. They score a lot of runs and they never quit, and that's a vast improvement over what we've been seeing here for more than a decade. And I've also got to disagree with you on the amount of adversity the Bucs need to overcome. The Rays may play in a tough division and in a bad ballpark, but they don't have to overcome what Littlefield, Bonifay and the rest have done to this franchise.

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Excellent points by both Parrot and sisy. I would say that I think the Pirates are today where the Rays were when they overhauled their baseball operations. If we can only be so fortunate to be contenders 2 years later...


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:17 pm 
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The Bucs of today are the equals of the 2005-2006 Rays. May our fortune be as good as theirs.

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:17 pm 
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I wouldn't even say we are that far behind.
The Pirates of this year remind me of the Rays from last.
Somebody should look up the Rays record of when they were the Devil Rays.All the seasons they were the Devil Rays cause i can't find it and I want to know what their franchise record was before this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:40 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
Somebody should look up the Rays record of when they were the Devil Rays.All the seasons they were the Devil Rays cause i can't find it and I want to know what their franchise record was before this year.


639-972 if my very quick calculations are correct.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:59 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
I wouldn't even say we are that far behind.
The Pirates of this year remind me of the Rays from last.
Somebody should look up the Rays record of when they were the Devil Rays.All the seasons they were the Devil Rays cause i can't find it and I want to know what their franchise record was before this year.


The Pirates are not the Rays of last season, far from it, outside of McCutchen, no real prospect is ready for the Majors and theres no pitching depth, Kazmir is still better than Snell on his best days, which he hasnt had any this year...

We're 2 or 3 years away from being close...

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Yeah Kazmir is better than any pitcher on our team.
What i don't get is why are the Rays talking about trading him.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:53 pm 
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But, what Prince doesn't point out is that one of the arcitechts of the Rays was none other than...
.. .the unmentionable one, one Mr. Camabafooneries.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:06 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
But, what Prince doesn't point out is that one of the arcitechts of the Rays was none other than...
.. .the unmentionable one, one Mr. Camabafooneries.

ZM


Actually, ZM, I believe Cam was part of the front office that got the axe in 2005. Hard to say he was an architect of what they have done since.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:45 am 
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Colin21 wrote:
Yeah Kazmir is better than any pitcher on our team.
What i don't get is why are the Rays talking about trading him.

Incredible organizational depth and — speculating here — questions surrounding K.'s durability.

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:14 am 
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Kazmir is not trade bait. They just gave him a contract extension a few months ago. There would be rioting in the streets here if they traded him.

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:03 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
Yeah Kazmir is better than any pitcher on our team.
What i don't get is why are the Rays talking about trading him.


I haven't seen any rumors about dealing him. I'd be pretty surprised if they did.

Bob....is 50 people considered a riot? Because I have a really hard time believing that more than 50 people would be upset enough about something the Rays do to riot.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:27 pm 
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I've only seen Kazmir a couple times now. That said, he's a nice pitcher, but I don't find him any better or worse than Snell or Gorzo when they are "right".

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:23 pm 
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As a rule of thumb, I find myself being very wary of anyone Steve Phillips heaps praise on.

Don't get me wrong, I think he's a good pitcher. But I'm not ready to put him in that "#1 stud ace" category quite yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:24 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
Bob....is 50 people considered a riot? Because I have a really hard time believing that more than 50 people would be upset enough about something the Rays do to riot.



If I'm the Bob you're asking, you might be interested in an online law dictionary definition of a riot:

Quote:
"a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes."


Hope that helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:44 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
I've only seen Kazmir a couple times now. That said, he's a nice pitcher, but I don't find him any better or worse than Snell or Gorzo when they are "right".

ZM

Even if that's true, a team does not play a pitcher like Kazmir, Snell, or Gorzo only when they are "right." A team typically plays a pitcher like that an entire year, "right" or otherwise. Kazmir's seasonal record is far better than that of Snell or Gorzo, and that's why Kazmir's value is greater.

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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:17 pm 
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Pictures from the LAST riot in Florida...

Image

Image

Image

Perhaps the Rays front office would do well to consult with the AARP before any trades are made...


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 Post subject: Re: Comparing the Bucs and the Rays
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:05 pm 
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Bob in Boston wrote:
Jeremy wrote:
Bob....is 50 people considered a riot? Because I have a really hard time believing that more than 50 people would be upset enough about something the Rays do to riot.



If I'm the Bob you're asking, you might be interested in an online law dictionary definition of a riot:

Quote:
"a disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons acting together in a disrupting and tumultuous manner in carrying out their private purposes."


Hope that helps.


That's interesting. Now the Rays needs to find more than three people willing to riot on their behalf.


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